Becker out three games
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CHAMPAIGN — Illinois starting tight end Zach Becker will miss the first three games of the season because of a stress fracture in his foot.
The injury happened during Saturday's scrimmage at Memorial Stadium, Illinois coach Ron Zook said.
Becker, who had foot issues during the offseason, went to see a specialist in Indianapolis on Tuesday.
"He'll be fine, it's going to take a few weeks," Zook said. "The poor guy, since January, both feet have had screws in them."
The former walk-on from St. Joseph-Ogden won't be available for the Missouri, Southern Illinois and Northern Illinois games. The team has an open date Sept. 25 before starting Big Ten play at home against Ohio State.
"Hopefully, he'll be back for the Big Ten schedule," Zook said.
Becker had been working at both tight end and fullback. Zook said London Davis, freshmen Evan Wilson and Jay Prosch and Missouri transfer Chris Willett will fill the hole.
"That's a position where those guys are going to get beat up, so you have to prepare for that anyway," Zook said.
Freshman Wilson was one of the stars of Camp Rantoul. Wilson can handle all parts of the position, Zook said.
"He can block," Zook said. "We're not going to have a guy in there just to receive."
Becker isn't the only loss for the Illini this week. Defensive back Walter Aikens has been dismissed from school. Aikens pled guilty to misdemeanor theft charges earlier in the summer and spent time in jail.
Aikens is attending Parkland College, Zook said. Zook said he didn't want to speculate on Aikens' future.
"Right now, he's been dismissed and that's all I want to say about it," Zook said.
Aikens is a sophomore academically. He hasn't used his redshirt and could return next season with three years of eligibility. If he transfers to another Division I-A school, he would have to sit out this season. He would be immediately eligible at a Division I-AA school or lower.